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Contact Dr. Bruce Merrill (480) 965-7051
Can be used after 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 27, 2004

HIGH AWARENESS THAT CONGRESS PASSED MEDICARE DRUG PLAN

DRUG DISCOUNT CARD IS SUPPORTED

ARIZONANS BELIEVE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE ABLE TO NEGOTIATE WITH DRUG MANUFACTURERS OVER PRICES

LOW AWARENESS OF GOVERNOR'S COPPER DRUG DISCOUNT CARD

A new statewide poll of registered voters conducted by KAET-TV/Channel 8 and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University between April 23 - 26, 2004, found that 85% of all registered voters were aware that Congress passed a Medicare prescription drug plan late last year. The poll also found that familiarity with details of the plan was relatively low, with 53% either very or somewhat familiar with it. Support for the plan was evenly divided; 40% supported it, 41% were opposed and 19% had no opinion. Republicans (64%) were more likely than Democrats (39%) to support the plan. Interestingly, younger people were more likely than older voters to favor the plan. Sixty percent (60%) of those interviewed under 45 were supportive compared to 42% of those over 60.

Even though overall support for the Medicare prescription drug plan was evenly divided, the poll found that 66% of those interviewed were supportive of a provision in the plan that issued a Prescription Drug Discount Card to seniors. Sixty-three percent (63%) said they were aware of the drug discount provision in the plan. Three-quarters of those interviewed (76%), however, disagreed with a provision in the plan that prohibits the government from negotiating with drug manufacturers over prices.

In comparison, only 45% of all registered voters in Arizona were aware of the CoppeRx Drug Prescription Card proposed by Gov. Janet Napolitano. The older a person was the more likely they were to have heard of the CoppeRx card. Men also were more likely than women to have heard about the card (54%) to (37%).

The statewide poll of 410 registered voters has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.8%. Fifty-six percent (56%) of the interviews were conducted in Maricopa County, 19% in Pima County, and 25% in the less populated counties. The sample was 42% Republican, 36% Democrat and 22% independent. Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters interviewed were female and 45% were male.

Questions: Last December, Congress and President Bush approved a Medicare prescription drug plan that will go into effect in 2006. Under the plan, Medicare will pay 25 % of the cost of drugs up to $2,250 per year. Medicare does not pay anything when people spend between $2,250 and $5,100 for drugs. Medicare will pay 95 % of all drug costs after people spend more than $5,100 in a year.

1. How familiar are you are with the details of the plan? Would you say you are:

1. very familiar 14% (26)
2. somewhat familiar or 39 (74)
3. really not familiar at all with the plan? 47
  100%

*numbers in parentheses are those with an opinion


2. Were you aware the government has passed this new prescription drug plan?

1. yes 85% 2. no 15%


3. Overall, based on what you've heard, would you say you are

1. supportive or 40% (45)
2. not supportive of the Medicare prescription drug plan? 41 (55)
3. d.k./n.o. 19
  100%

*numbers in parentheses are those with an opinion



4. When the Medicare Prescription drug plan goes into effect, the government will not be allowed to negotiate drug prices with the drug companies that produce them. Do you

1. agree or 12% (14)
2. disagree with that provision of the plan? 76 (86)
3. d.k./n.o. 12
  100%

*numbers in parentheses are those with an opinion


5. Between now and when the prescription drug plan goes into effect in 2006, Medicare will allow seniors to purchase a prescription drug card for up to $30 per year that will provide discounts on drugs of between 10 to 20 percent. Were you aware this Medicare discount card was available to seniors?

1. yes 63% no 37%

 

6. Do you:

1. support or 66% (79)
2. oppose providing this Medicare drug discount card for seniors? 18 (21)
3. d.k./n.o. 16
  100%

 

7. In Arizona, Governor Napolitano is issuing a discount card called the CoppeRx card that provides discounts to seniors of between 15 to 55 percent depending on the drug being purchased. The card has no annual fee. Were you aware the CoppeRx card was being made available to seniors in Arizona?

1. yes 45% 2. no 55%


KAET-TV is a part of Arizona State University